Liz Swain 2:31 p.m., Dec. 19
Protests Planned For Trans-Pacific Trade Talks
Beginning on Monday, trade officials from Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Peru and Vietnam will meet at the Hilton Bayfront with representatives from Office of the United States Trade Representative for the 13th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement talks.
The goal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is to further integrate trade between growing nations in Asia and the U.S. and other countries located along the Pacific Rim. If approved, trade output could eventually amount to 40 percent of the world's trade and boost the economies of each member-country.
But, as with most trade agreements, not everyone agrees.
Opponents claim the agreement could endanger workers in underdeveloped nations as well as the environment in areas where there are little or no environmental regulations. They believe the agreement empowers multi-national corporations to take land from indigenous tribes and people.
And, as with most trade summits or negotiations, there will be some protests in the streets below.
San Diego's Sierra Club members will be among those protesting.
"This secret trade agreement between 11 Pacific Rim nations, with the help of over 600 corporate representatives, has almost zero public oversight," reads a statement from the chair of the local Sierra Club chapter, Jean Costa.
They will be joined by members of the Occupy movements in San Diego and other California cities as well other groups.
"Though the contents of these negotiations are secret, what is not a secret is that the impacts of the TPP on these Pacific Rim nations, on peasants, on farmers, on workers, on their natural resources, on the environment, will be devastating," was the statement issued from Occupiers.
"Some people describe the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] as 'NAFTA on Steroids.'"
*Sierra Club members and Occupiers will hold a rally, sponsored by the San Diego/Imperial County Labor Council of the AFL-CIO, at noon on Monday outside the Hilton Bayfront *
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